Procrastination is a problem that we have all encountered at some point or another. Since the dawn of time, mankind has grappled with delaying, evading, and procrastinating on crucial issues. We feel pleased and successful when we temporarily discover how to stop procrastinating during our more productive times. Today, we’ll talk about how to make those sporadic productive moments a regular occurrence. The goals of this book are to provide tried-and-true frameworks for delaying action, explain the science behind why we wait, and offer doable strategies that will facilitate action.
What is procrastination?
For a very long time, people have put off doing things. In fact, the problem is so pervasive that Socrates and Aristotle, two of the greatest Greek philosophers, came up with the name “akrasia” to describe this type of behaviour. Akrasia is the condition of acting against your better judgement. It happens when you behave in a particular way despite knowing you should behave differently. Procrastination or a lack of self-control is two loose definitions of akrasia. Procrastination is the practise of delaying or postponing a task or set of responsibilities. Whether you call it procrastination, akrasia, or anything else, it is the force that keeps you from doing the tasks you set out to do.
The majority of tardy students lack self-control and have low self-confidence in their academic abilities. This makes sense given that we
- Put off tasks that we find challenging and
- Are more likely to delay if we are unable to manage distractions.
Low self-esteem is also more common in procrastinators. One can use procrastination as a kind of self-preservation by using it as an excuse to avoid responsibility (i.e., “I only failed because I didn’t try”). Due to their tendency to see limits established by others as restrictions and act to avoid them, procrastinators often exhibit a rebellious streak.
Ways to beat procrastination
Spend just a few minutes on the assignment.
Procrastinators delay doing the “good” things in addition to wasting more time on the “wrong” things. This was the finding of a study on students who procrastinate. The Zeigarnik effect, which describes how once you start anything, your brain remains watchful until you finish it, is discussed by Professor Richard Wiseman as a way to get around this. The beginning of a task is typically the most difficult portion. If you can simply convince someone to start anything for a short while, the brain should get motivated to finish it.
Prioritize the challenging and crucial tasks.
We usually reach our highest levels of awareness about 10 a.m. before having a mid-afternoon drop because of our Circadian Rhythm, or daily biological clocks. To complete more challenging tasks, we need more effort and concentration. Because doing so is tough and typically results in individuals delaying things for another day, it makes sense to begin with the most challenging and important tasks.
Enhanced self-regulation skills and attitudes
Self-regulation is the ability to choose the best strategy for a task and to self-correct as you go. According to The Sutton Trust, this is one of the best and most effective ways to help Pupil Premium students. Despite the fact that procrastination is occasionally described as “a failure to self-regulate,” procrastination researchers argue that simply being aware of how important self-regulation is to overcoming procrastination is insufficient. If students are to succeed, they must possess the confidence to employ these strategies and skills.
Organize your surroundings.
You’re more likely to get distracted and put off achieving your goals if you can see temptations. For instance, a recent study found that having your phone out and visible can make you perform 20% worse than if you had put it away, even when you are not using it. The authors of this study claim that the mere presence of a cell phone may be distracting enough to cause a reduction in attention. Do you operate in an environment that promotes finishing the current task quickly or one that promotes putting it off?
Establish a brief due date.
It has long been understood that the farther away an event is, the less influence it has on people’s decisions, according to researcher Piers Steel’s meta-analysis on procrastination. After you’ve divided the job down into its component parts, give each one a brief deadline.
Boost your self-assurance and confidence
If students believe they won’t succeed at a task, they are more likely to put it off. One method to increase their self-confidence is to demonstrate how others who have gone through a comparable scenario have succeeded (psychologists refer to this as “modelling”). This might make the task at hand seem manageable and provide a possible example to imitate.
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